Since the beginning of the second intifada, in September 2000, Israel has imposed restrictions on the movement of Palestinians in the West Bank that are unprecedented in scope and time. As a result, the fundamental right of West Bank Palestinians to freedom of movement, their exercise of which was limited in any event, has become a privilege that Israel extends to them as it deems fit. Indeed, Palestinian travel in the West Bank is now an exception, which must be justified to the Israeli authorities, and almost every trip entails uncertainty, friction with soldiers, much waiting, and often great expense.
Israel's policy of segregation in the center of Hebron led to the closing of at least 1,014 commercial establishments during the Intifada. At least 659 Palestinian families had to leave their homes. These are the finding of a new report issued today by B'Tselem and The Association for civil rights in Israel.
Despite the so-called “disengagement” in August 2005 and the recent internal violence, the Gaza Strip remains subject to Israeli control. This publication surveys the
various spheres of Israeli control in the Gaza Strip, and the implications
of this control. So long as Israel retains extensive control over Gaza, it cannot disengage from its responsibility.
The report is a unique study on the infringement of the human rights of the tens of thousands of Palestinian workers staying in Israel without a permit.
The report focuses attention on the hundreds of thousands of Palestinians affected by the freeze on family unification that prevents Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza from living together with their spouses who are foreign residents, in the report Perpetual Limbo.
The report deals with the route of the separation barrier showing that the route was based on considerations relating to settlement expansion and control of land, and not on security reasons, as the government has continuously claimed.
For the past four and a half years, Israel has severely restricted freedom of movement to and from the Gaza Strip. These restrictions further strangled the Gaza Strip, so much so that the area resembles one gigantic prison. The report warns against Israel's attempt to avoid its responsibility toward residents of the Gaza Strip following disengagement.
Israel’s regime of occupation is inextricably bound up in human rights violations. B’Tselem strives to end the occupation, as that is the only way forward to a future in which human rights, democracy, liberty and equality are ensured to all people, both Palestinian and Israeli, living between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean Sea.